A book had claimed that Gandhi was planning to retire from politics in 2016 when she turns 70. "I have never said this," Paswan quoted her as telling him. (Agencies)
He was giving details about his 40-minute meeting with Gandhi which he had sought primarily to discuss the issue of acquittal of all the 26 accused in the massacre of 58 Dalits in Bihar's Laxmanpur Bathe 16 years ago.
During the meeting, the LJP leader urged the Congress chief to don the role of uniting secular parties before the next Lok Sabha polls like she had done in 2004. "I told her that BJP will not come to power even though it may have allies like Shiv Sena and Akali Dal and a few other parties. So, there is a possibility of UPA only being able to form the next government," he said.
"In this context, she should unite all secular parties," Paswan added. Raising the issue of acquittal in the Laxmanpur Bathe case, Paswan urged Gandhi to take up the serious matter as justice needed to be ensured for the victims. Gandhi shared his view that it was a sad development, the LJP leader said.
Paswan was accompanied by his son Chirag, who was blessed by Gandhi for entering politics.
At the AICC briefing, Congress spokesman Raj Babbar wanted Bihar government to go in for quick appeal to the Supreme Court against the acquittal of 26 accused in the case of Laxmanpur Bathe massacre of 58 Dalits.
The SC department of Congress said it was "deplorable" that even 16 years after the heinous massacre, the alleged activists of the upper caste militia, Ranveer Sena, have not been brought to justice.
"We stand by them and will do everything possible to aid them to ensure that justice is delivered," the department's chairman K Raju said.
A book had claimed that Gandhi was planning to retire from politics in 2016 when she turns 70. "I have never said this," Paswan quoted her as telling him.